The editor and owner of financial news and information website OffshoreAlert said last week that his site had been hacked and that it appeared “an attempt was made to wipe out our company.”
According to a notice posted on the OffshoreAlert website, which has been down since March 15, editor David Marchant said he received an anonymous email that appeared to come from Russia, claiming responsibility for the hack on Thursday – although the site went down two days before.
Mr. Marchant told the Cayman Compass he had received further communication Thursday from the individual claiming responsibility for hacking into OffshoreAlert servers. “I was sued last month in Miami by a resident and citizen of Russia,” Mr. Marchant said in an email to the Compass.
“The threatening emails I received this week originated from Russia.”
The email, claiming to represent “Anonymous” – the well-known computer hacker group that has successfully infiltrated government and private sector systems worldwide – demanded the permanent closure of the OffshoreAlert website as of Thursday evening. If that did not occur, the emailer threatened to expose “the real Mr. Marchant.”
“We know where you’ve been and listened in on your conversations,” the email continued.
“We own you, your friend [sic] and your family. You are in our world now. We make the rules.”
The email went on: “You are scum and we will expose the true you in weeks to come. YOU are responsible for the breach on your member’s business email. YOU Mr. Merchant [sic] have our attention. We will not let up. YOU will be hunted every day from here onward. Anon OP OA have hundreds of members and getting rid of you and exposing your members is our single collective goal.
“Your paid for journalists and members from accounting, banking, legal firms and even government will pay the price.”
Mr. Marchant responded on a notice placed on his website Thursday: “ … I long ago came to terms with the risks involved in exposing serious financial crime and I will not allow a cowardly [expletive] in Russia or wherever to blackmail or intimidate me just because we have exposed them for committing fraud, which is undoubtedly the case. Over the years, I have been threatened with death on multiple occasions, privately investigated numerous times, and my company and I have been sued for libel at state and federal courts in the USA, in Canada, England, the Cayman Islands, Panama and Grenada (two of them criminal actions) in an attempt to bankrupt us. Yet we’re still standing and, frankly, doing rather well.”
Mr. Marchant apologized to his subscribers and followers on OffshoreAlert for any inconvenience and said he would “deeply regret” if any names and contact information are published by the apparent hacker. He said no financial information of subscribers or otherwise is kept on computer servers that the company owns, but rather is maintained by a third party financial institution.
“I doubt that ‘Anonymous’ was actually behind any hack,” Mr. Marchant went on. “The evidence points to it being a ‘living-in-my-mother’s-basement, never-had-a-girlfriend, hacker-for-hire’ type. If the real ‘Anonymous’ wants to contact me, I can let you know who I strongly suspect is behind the attack and misappropriating your name. Then you can go to town on him.”